Weekend Box Office: Smart Money Says No Love for Guru

The last time Mike Myers was actually on movie screens (and not just his voice), he was wearing a furry cat costume in 2003’s “The Cat in the Hat”, and after 5 years of no Mike Myers, you would think there would be more love for the man’s return. Apparently not, as Myers’ “The Love Guru”, his first onscreen movie in 5 years, tanked at the box office in its debut, taking in a measly $14 million from slightly over 3000 theaters, just barely good enough to edge out M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Happening” to land at #4. The week’s only other debut, the Steve Carrell comedy “Get Smart”, surpassed expectations, wrangling first place away from last week’s champ, “The Incredible Hulk” with a solid $39 million in its first week.

Louis Leterrier’s “The Incredible Hulk”, meanwhile, had a fight with the animated animals of “Kung Fu Panda” for third place, but according to BoxOfficeMojo, it lost (these are studio weekend estimates, so it may all change on Monday, though not by much for the most part), coming in at #3 with $21.5 million in its second week.

The Hulk suffered a 61% drop in revenue from its first place finish last week, but that was still good enough to give the second “Hulk” movie a total 10-day take of $96.5 million. Then again, Ang Lee’s much-derided 2003 “Hulk” still managed to outpace Leterrier’s, making $100.6 million in the same time frame, to finish at a then-disappointing $132 million on the domestic side. (It would eventually go on to make $245 worldwide. By all accounts a success, given the film’s $137 million budget. Of course, you wouldn’t know it by all the revisionist history around Ang Lee’s movie.)

All week I’ve been hearing from other movie sites — people who knows more than I, no doubt — about how Leterrier’s “Hulk” will continue its first-week success, given the positive word of mouth (it’ll have “legs”, in studio parlance). Apparently they were so desperate to have Leterrier’s Hulk outdo Ang Lee’s (for whatever reason, I’ll never understand, given how average Leterrier’s version turned out), that they were giving it too much credit. If “The Incredible Hulk” still tumbled to fourth place without any real competition in the geek fanboy market this week, it’s going to get buried by “Wanted” and “Wall-E” next week, and “Hancock” the week after. But as with Lee’s “Hulk”, even if Leterrier’s version doesn’t blow away the box office in the States, its worldwide take should more than compensate Marvel for their time and effort, though they should probably stop trying to convince us it’s the runaway success they were expecting; it’s just getting embarrassing.

Oh well, at least Marvel Studios can still boast about “Iron Man”, which surpassed the $300 million mark in its eighth week of release.

But back to “The Love Guru”. When the best thing about your movie trailer (once you get through all the obscene midget jokes, I mean) is Justin Timberlake sporting a wacky French accent while wearing briefs, you gotta know you have problems there, Mikey.

Here’s how the rest of the box office broke down over the weekend (via):

1 —–Get Smart—– $39,155,000—–$39,155,000
2 —–Kung Fu Panda —–$21,700,000 —–$155,596,000
3 —–The Incredible Hulk —– $21,557,000 —–$96,476,000
4 —–The Love Guru —– $14,000,000 —–$14,000,000
5 —–The Happening —–$10,000,000 —–$50,267,000
6 —–Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull —–$8,414,000 —–$290,835,000
7 —–You Don’t Mess with the Zohan —–$7,200,000 —–$84,055,000
8 —–Sex and the City —–$6,465,000 —–$132,385,000
9 —–Iron Man —–$4,002,000 —–$304,788,000
10 —–The Strangers —– $1,949,000 —–$49,586,000